BOSTON (AP) – Bill Buckner, a star hitter who became known for making one of the most infamous plays in major league history, has died. He was 69.
Buckner’s family said in a statement that he died Monday after a long battle with dementia.
Buckner won an NL batting title, was an All-Star and got 2,715 hits in a 22-year career.
But it was a little groundball in the 1986 World Series that forever changed his legacy.
Trying for their first crown since 1918, the Boston Red Sox led the New York Mets 5-3 going into the bottom of the 10th inning in Game 6 at Shea Stadium. The Mets tied it with two outs, then Mookie Wilson hit a trickler up the first base that rolled through Buckner’s legs, an error that let Ray Knight rush home from second base with the winning run.
The Red Sox lost 8-5 in Game 7, and their World Series drought continued until they won the championship in 2004.